Sweet Tooth Guilty Pleasures from France

Here’s a confession.

This is, like, the worst week ever. Thanksgiving break is coming up, so all my professors seem to have teamed up on one lovely team of DEATH to try kill me by homework, and finals week is looming ahead. Now, if you didn’t understand the last sentence, let me translate for you: I don’t have time to make a snack.

Therein lies the complete and utter honesty of this blog: sometimes, not matter how quick, easy and cheap the snack is, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

So I came up with an alternative! Today, I present to you (drumroll please) my top 5 favorite sweet snacks from France, where I grew up. Most of these snacks aren’t available here – which I hope makes them exciting and exotic. Also, they’re ALL terrible for you. No shame, no judgment right?

  1. Haribo Dragibus candies. Okay, technically, Haribo is German (disclaimer courtesy of my German husband, who likes to remind me that my favorite “French” candy isn’t “French”) but let’s not worry ourselves with details. Dragibus are probably pure sugar, but they have a gooey, stick-in-your-teeth kind of deliciousness that I can’t get enough of.
  2. Kinder Country bars. You have not lived until you’ve sunk your teeth into this delicious concoction of chocolate andmilk and grains. It almost tastes healthy.
  3. Pain au chocolat. Mistakenly called a “chocolate croissant” (pathetic) these are best right out of the even, with the chocolate melty in the middle, and the layers of pastry crispy on top, then soft and chewy as you reach the middle. MY MOUTH IS WATERING, GUYS.
  4. Haribo Cola Mistral. Coke-tasting candies covered in sugar. So good. Sugar high level: climbing up the walls.
  5. Milka chocolate bars. These are available in the U.S., and are actually Swiss, not French (again). I consider myself to be pretty snobby when it comes to chocolate, and this is absolutely the crème de la crème of milk chocolate. The creamy stuff chocolate dreams are made off. Now, what are you waiting for?! Time for a trip to Walmart.
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3-ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Here’s a confession.

My obsession with peanut butter knows no bounds. Here’s another confession: the cookies you’re about to read about are so, SO bad for you. That being said, I never qualified Snack Attack as “healthy” snack blog, right? I said quick, easy, yummy, and cheap. So here we go.IMG_3430

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg. Yes, that is all.

You’ll also need a stirring spoon, a small bowl, a measuring cup,IMG_3434a cookie sheet, and an oven.

So how do we turn three basic ingredients into scrumptious cookies? Let’s find out.

  • First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Next, combine all your ingredients, stirring vigorously. IMG_3435
  • Grab your cookie sheet (you may want to spray it with non-stickspray or line it with parchment paper.)
  • Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and put them on the cookie sheet a few inches from each other.
  • If you want to get fancy, flatten the dough using a fork, pressing down first vertically, then horizontally to get the lined pattern as shown.
  • Pop those babies in the oven for 6-10 minutesIMG_3436 (it depends on your oven – but they are best gooey and not overdone.)
  • Eat up! These are so flavorful and so sugary. As could be expected.
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Super Cheesy Skillet Quesadillas

Here’s a confession.

This is what my fridge look like right now.

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Yep, not much in there – so I had to get creative with a few staple ideas I always have on hand, namely cheese and soft tortilla shells. I went with one of the easiest, most filling snacks I know how to make: skillet quesadillas.

Here’s what you’ll need: IMG_3411

  • A skillet
  • Cheese of your choice, grated or sliced
  • Two soft tortilla shells
  • Mexican seasoning (totally optional, I decided not to use it this time)

Steps to yummyness:IMG_3412

  1. Place a tortilla in your skillet and play cheese Tetris.
  2. Let the tortilla heat up until you can see the cheese start to melt.
  3. Add your second tortilla on top and squish the two together.
  4. After about 30 seconds, flip the tortilla over to make sure you melt the cheese fully and get both sides crispy and sufficiently brown.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 30 seconds (I didn’t, and burned myself. TYPICAL.)IMG_3414
  6. Cut the tortilla into chip-size pieces.
  7. Eat up! I savored mine with black bean & corn salsa, so that I could pretend I’m an adult who eats vegetables – but who am I kidding? Sorry, mom.

 

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Instant Brownies FTW

Here’s a confession.

This is probably THE first snack I have made for this blog that has gone without a hitch. The only reason for that is that I’ve made it before – several times. This snack is quickly becoming a go-to. Chocolate, microwaves, easy ingredients I already have, no dishes afterwards? Yes, yes, yes and YES.

I’ve tried different versions of the microwave brownie, but you can find the inspiration for this one here. It took me a grand total of three minutes, and that’s only because I was pausing to attempt some artsy fartsy photography to document my success.

You’re only three minutes away from a stellar new snack! Here’s what you’ll need.

  • MicrowaveIMG_3384
  • Traditional size mug
  • Spoon
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted butterIMG_3386IMG_3392
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Salt

Let’s do this!

  1. In the mug, combine water, melted butter, salt and vanilla.
  2. Add cocoa powder, stir.
  3. Add sugar, stir.IMG_3395IMG_3396
  4. Add flour, stir.
  5. And voilà, you’re done! Pop it into the microwave for 60 to 90 seconds, depending on how fugdy you want your brownie. The longer it cooks, the drier it will be.
  6. Eat up! The steaming hot brownie is fantastic doused in milk, or topped with vanilla ice-cream. You’re welcome. IMG_3398

P.S. Mom, I PROMISE I’ll clean my microwave sometime this weekend. Don’t look too close!

P.P.S. HOW CUTE IS MY SNOWMAN MUG?!

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Snack Hacks – Friday Link Love

Today, you get something new: links to my very favorite snack hacks. These are some of the best tricks to getting out of a boring food rut and turning a basic into a bedazzled “BAM” snack. I could copy all these recipes and show you my take on them, but sometimes, it’s impossible to make something better – as demonstrated below.

  • THIS. Fruity Peanut Butter dip, for those of you who like to drench healthy things in not-as-healthy dips because, hey, taste matters.
  • Grilled cheese has never looked so good – here’s how to turn your plain old same old sandwich into a pizza-flavored one packed with punch.
  • Turn a fruit into a bite-sized dessert: Ziploc’s uber easy recipe involves bananas, chocolate and sprinkles. You can’t say no.
  • Baked egg in an avocado – the perfect morning pick-me-up. Why didn’t I think of this?
  • Upgrade boring blueberries to a frozen yogurt dessert in two easy steps. Addiction guaranteed – you will not be able to get enough of these little guys.
  • Twenty three ways to use an ice cube tray that involve things more interesting than water. Guys. You can make mini cheesecakes in an ice cube tray! I. Am. Losing it.
  • Also… how to make an ordinary apple into a, uh, swan? Because apparently some people are into this.

Happy snacking!

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Microwave Caramels

Here’s a confession.

I didn’t think this would work. 6-minute microwave caramels? Yeah, right. Way too good to be true.

My skepticism comes from a deep-rooted resentment of caramel. Growing up, I swear I would burn myself on caramel apples EVERY fall. Two weeks ago, I tried to make some myself, and it was a disaster. But in case you were wondering, crystallized sugar smudge tastes pretty good, actually. But back to the topic at hand – this did actually work. That doesn’t mean the caramels turned out perfect. I mean, would this be Snack Attack if they had? They’re definitely not as solid or brown as they should be, but they taste good. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times – ugly stuff tastes good.

Here’s what you’ll need (and this week, it’s ALL bad for you. Go cholesterol!!)

IMG_3321

  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

You’ll also need:

  • Microwaveable bowl
  • Glass dish
  • Measuring spoon
  • Stirring spoon (I know, I know, I forgot to photograph half of this stuff.)
  • Oh – and a microwave.

Here’s how the magic happens.

  1. Measure and combine all ingredients.
  2. Microwave for six minutes, taking the mixture out of the microwave every two minutes to stir.
  3. After six minutes, stir again and poor into a dish. You can either grease it or use parchment paper. My assistant (who shall remain unnamed) wasn’t an expert with parchment paper, so we ended up with this masterpiece. Oops.
  4. Let cool until solid, then eat up. You can also sprinkle the top with sea salt for extra deliciousness.
  5. The linked recipe recommends to cut the caramel up and wrap it in wax paper, then store in an air-tight container. But did I do that? Uh, no. That would imply actually being able to cut it.

Photos below, because, you know, WordPress blog formatting HATES ME. Special note for my professor: I tried, Inman. I really tried.

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Back to our regularly scheduled programming: this snack is delicious, fast, cheap and easy. The true stuff of Snack Attack. If you feel fall cravings coming on, I would recommend this. Although I did manage to burn myself on this stuff, too. Is nothing safe?

 

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Pizza Bagels are the Bomb

Here’s a confession.

I really do try to eat healthy. You can typically catch me popping grapes like potato chips or munching on cereal bars. I don’t buy junk food. But I have my vices! Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Twix bars. French pastries. Cheesecake. Seeing a pattern? I have a sweet tooth. Pizza is my exception, but it doesn’t fit our criteria of cheap, fast and easy. (Unless we’re talking about the frozen kind, and that doesn’t count.) Fortunately, the internet has come up with a solution: pizza bagels. This is the answer to all of your problems. This recipe comes to you courtesy of The Frugal Girl, but a quick Pinterest search will provide you with a zillion options.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bagels (I went with plain, but if cinnamon raisin pizza sounds good to you, I will not judge.) IMG_3262
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • Pizza sauce
  • Oregano and Italian seasonings (optional, depending on the pizza sauce you use.)
  • Knife
  • Baking sheet
  • Oven (micro-waving the bagels would probably just reduce them to a smoosh. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that smooshy pizza is bad news.)

Now for assembly!

Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 350IMG_3266

Step 2: Toast the bagels. I found that this added crispness to the snack and helped it stay hot, because it is in the oven for such a short time.

Step 3: Spread pizza sauce all over the inside of the bagel.

Step 4: Add pepperoni, then optional spices, then sprinkle with the desired amount of cheese. IMG_3268

Step 5: Pop them in the oven for 5-10 minutes, depending on how cooked you want them. (If your oven is a complete piece of JUNK, like mine, it might take you 10 minutes rather than 5. Not that I’m bitter.)

Step 6: Remove from the oven, let cool for about a minute, then dig in!

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I love that this snack opens the doors for so many different possibilities and variations. You could copy any kind of pizza and make it work on a smaller scale. Sausage, veggies, anchovies, even dessert pizza! There’s that sweet tooth again.

Speaking of sweet tooth.. wait till you see what we’ll be making next week.

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